Quick Start: Brainstorming and Prototyping
With consumer demands evolving every day, coming up with new ideas and building MVPs are crucial skills for any team. Ask yourself the following questions to move from idea to product faster:
- What problem are we solving? Break down the challenge or opportunity for your team in terms of measurable objectives and consumer behaviors. For example, your team's goal may be to "Increase new online sign ups by 20% this time next year." Now think of the customer's point of view: how will they benefit from signing up online? You'll only achieve your goal by serving the customer's needs.
- What past examples inside and outside of our category can we draw from? No idea is completely original. Look for ways others have solved your problem as a starting point for generating new ideas.
- What teams and partners should we involve? Do yourself a favor and, at the beginning of your project, reach out to the people beyond your team that have the insight, access, resources, or political power you need.
- Do we have a shared process and shared language for bringing new ideas to life? A clear yet flexible process for moving ideas to prototypes to scalable solutions will keep teams aligned and projects moving forward. It could be as simple as a shared glossary and a set of requirements for new ideas to pass through as they scale. Whatever your process, focus on creating the simplest form of your new idea to test with real customers as soon as you can.
Below, you'll find strategies for reinventing your business, as well as best practices from some of the world's most innovative companies.
- Optimize, Innovate, Disrupt: How They Differ, and Why It Matters: Figure out exactly what it is your team should be attempting to change in the first place.
- How to Hack an Existing Business Model: Tweaking an existing product may not be enough—here's how you can modify an entire business model.
- Use a Framestorm to Generate New Ideas: An exercise that develops questions around the problem, rather than tackling the problem directly.
- How Apple Uses Random Words to Brainstorm: An exercise to use random words to make new connections and find unexpected associations.
- Future "Thinks Wrong" to Encourage Creativity: Two exercises that will help you tackle a problem from a new perspective.
- How Uber's Weekend Prototyping Sprints Build Innovative Products: A unique event to crank out great new ideas.
- Start with a Skateboard: How Spotify Builds Products: A method to build the simplest version of your product to test.